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"Crusty Pandy" and the Art of Modern Taxidermy



There is something going on.

Four years ago, we selected Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy as a Best Book of the Month for March 2010. I quote myself: "[Still Life] will tell most readers as much as they need to know about erosion-molded rats and replacement lips, ears, and eyelids, but it's the culture of iron-stomached men (and occasionally, women) that practice the art of skinned carcasses and stretched hides--those who wield 'the calipers and the brain spoons'--that Milgrom's after." She had found that something, and (at least) three new books document it, whatever it is.

First, the historical perspective. Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy depicts what a diorama project might have looked like in Dr. Moreau's classroom: the collected Victorian scenes of an inexpert-yet-dedicated squirrel stuffer, whose children and parlor sitters have been replaced by kittens, rodents, and lambs, many sporting additional heads and appendages. It's a quaint horrorshow.

For aspiring post-mortem engineers, the forthcoming Taxidermy Art: A Rogue's Guide to the Work, the Culture, and How to Do It Yourself inspires with profiles of visionaries at the cutting edge of biological mash-ups, and instructs with a tutorial on the basics of skinning, degreasing, and mounting. According to professional deviant John Waters, Taxidermy Art is “so appalling, funny, grotesque, weirdly charming, and highly informative that even I was creeped out.” This is getting dark.

But if you're looking for something on the lighter side, Crap Taxidermy celebrates the weirdest of this weird pursuit with the best specimens from "the Internet's largest image depository of crappy and awesome taxidermy": a menagerie of googly-eyed roadkill, cherished pets, and other animals of unknown provenance that's funny in the way that Eraserhead was funny.

Enjoy these selections from Crap Taxidermy (including the titular "Crusty Pandy"), and if you make it all the way through the gallery, be sure to watch the instructional video at the end. It made me eat my words above about the gender dynamics of carcass stuffing.

Happy Friday!

 

Secret Life of Opossums

"Secret Life of Opossums" (pg. 27); Photo by Paul Lim (Flickr: Fudj)

Fox with Eye Transplant

"Fox with Eye Transplant" (pg. 10); Photo by Andrew Murray (Flickr: MrAndrewMurray)

Curtain-Twitching Opossum

"Curtain-Twitching Opossum" (pg. 80); Photo by Kate Perris (Flickr: Dansette)

Hungover Cat

"Hungover Cat" (pg. 20); Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen (www.bjornfree.com)

Snaggletoothed Bat

"Snaggletoothed Bat" (pg. 45); Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen (www.bjornfree.com)

Fearsome Barn Owl

"Fearsome Barn Owl" (pg. 14L); Photo by David Haberthür (Flickr: habi)

Crusty Pandy

"Crusty Pandy" (pg. 18); Photo by Brian Glucroft (www.isidorsfugue.com)

Tabby Gymnastics

"Tabby Gymnastics" (pg. 41); Photo by Ivie Morgan, taxidermy by Ivie Morgan

Curious Wolpertinger

"Curious Wolpertinger" (pg. 55); Photo by Christian Novak

Flat Wolf

"Flat Wolf"(pg. 14R); Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen (www.bjornfree.com)

Crap Taxidermy

 

"A Sunday Crafternoon Session Where We're Gonna Stuff Some Mice" [SOME MATURE CONTENT]



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